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My 2016 MLB Power Rankings Week 17

Updated on August 1, 2016

MLB Power Ranks

It’s trade deadline day! By the time you read this MLB’s trade deadline will have come and gone. We’ve already seen a few big name players move on to new teams as well as one player utilize his limited trade clause to block a trade. Odds are more players will call another city home before 4:00 pm Eastern time rolls around. Some of these moves will help strengthen clubs pushing toward the postseason while others will simply be signs of a team looking towards the future. Here’s hoping the team you root for is a buyer.

*Note ~ All stats and records are through Sunday’s games.

1. Chicago Cubs (63-41) ~ They made their big splash last week then they acquired Aroldis Chapman but last night's game was epic. A relief pitcher made a superb catch while crashing into the ivy when he was forced to play left field. A starting pitcher came in to pinch hit in extra innings and laid down a walk-off suicide squeeze bunt with two strikes. It's good to be a Cubs fan right now. (Last Week's Ranking 1)

2. Washington Nationals (61-44) ~ Last year the Nats scooped up Jonathon Papelbon at the deadline to replace the incumbent Drew Storen. Now they have picked up Papelbon’s replacement in acquiring Mark Melancon from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Melancon led the league with 51 saves last season and has a shiny 1.80 ERA since joining the Pirates in 2013. He is set to become a free agent at seasons end but right now he is a key piece in a pennant race. (LWR 2)

3. Texas Rangers (62-44) ~ Carlos Beltran is one of the newest members of the Texas Rangers. The veteran seems to have found the fountain of youth this year compiling a line of .304/.344/.546 with 22 home runs and 64 RBI. This is the third time in his career Beltran has been dealt at the trade deadline. To see who else they added just keep on scrolling down. (LWR 6_

4. San Francisco Giants (61-44) ~ Will Smith is ready to get jiggy with it out by the bay. Not that Will Smith. This one. Late of the Milwaukee Brewers. Maybe the actor/rapper will be there too. Maybe they’re best friends. Maybe I’m just trying to fill the space here. I’ll let you decide. (LWR 3)

5. Baltimore Orioles (59-45) ~ Baltimore has seemingly needed pitching help all season and now some is on the way in the form of Wade Miley. Well, it’s actually Wade Miley. If it was just some amorphous blob in the form of Miley it might bring a bit more intimidation but the O’s will take what they can get in the dogfight that is the American League East. (LWR 4)

6. Toronto Blue Jays (59-46) ~ Troy Tulowitzki suffered a fractured thumb after being hit by a pitch over the weekend. The Jays aren’t yet sure if he will need a stint on the disabled list. I’m not a doctor but how can you play baseball with a fractured thumb? How will he grip a bat? How will he wear his glove and play defense? If he continues to play my mind will be blown. (LWR 7)

7. Boston Red Sox (57-46) ~ Reliever Fernando Abad goes from the worst team in the American League (the Twins) to one of the best. While he may not be the sexiest name out there, Abad has had himself a solid year posting a 2.65 ERA overall while handcuffing lefties. If the Kansas City Royals have taught us anything it’s that a strong bullpen can go a long way. (LWR 5)

8. Cleveland Indians (60-42) ~ While they missed out on upgrading at catcher the Indians went out and got the best reliever on the market. Andrew Miller comes over from the New York Yankees with a 1.39 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and a ridiculous 77 strikeouts in 45 1/3 innings. Whether Cleveland uses him as a setup man or at closer he certainly boosts one of the better bullpens in the game. Miller is under contract through 2018. (LWR 8)

9. Los Angeles Dodgers (59-46) ~ The Dodgers needed pitching help and they got it. Well, sort of. L.A. acquired Rich Hill from the Oakland A’s but Hill is currently on the disabled list with blister issues. He should be able to return when eligible but that remains to be seen. They also, however, get Josh Reddick in the deal as well and his bat will play immediately. Both are free agents at the end of the season barring any extensions. (LWR 9)

10. Miami Marlins (57-48) ~ The Marlins acquired Andrew Cashner from San Diego to help bolster their rotation. They also took on Colin Rea but he was sent back due to injury concerns. It’s unusual to see the Fish adding players at the deadline but if the playoffs started today they would be in as the second wild card. And you don’t want to mess with them if they make it in: Miami has never lost a playoff series. (LWR 10)

11. New York Mets (54-50) ~ Jay Bruce is a Met. The outfielder brings his 25 homers and National League-leading 80 RBI to a team desperate for some offensive help. Last year the Mets picked up Yoenis Cespedes at the deadline and he helped vault them to their first pennant in 15 years. Will Bruce be able to replicate that kind of magic? (LWR 12)

12. Houston Astros (55-49) ~ Alex Bregman finally got off the schnide and recorded his first hit last night. The highly touted rookie hasn’t had the best first week in the majors as he has just the lone hit in 22 at bats. He should be up to stay and Houston will hope he figures it out on the fly as they try and chase down the Rangers and their old friend Mr. Beltran. (LWR 11)

13. St. Louis Cardinals (56-49) ~ Like the Jays, St. Louis had a shortstop suffer a hand injury after being hit by a pitch. Rookie sensation Aledmys Diaz is undergoing further tests but they expect him to miss at least a few days. Unlike the Jays they are at least being realistic about this. (LWR 13)

14. Detroit Tigers (57-48) ~ J.D. Martinez is expected to be activated from the disabled list this week. The slugger has been out since the middle of June with a fractured elbow. Adding his bat back to an already potent lineup is better than adding any of the potentially available bats out on the market. (LWR 16)

15. Pittsburgh Pirates (52-51) ~ Rumor has it that the Pirates have acquired Ivan Nova from the New York Yankees. They needed starting pitching help but this move doesn’t make any sense. Nova has been terrible and Pittsburgh just traded away their closer. Are they buying? Selling? What is going on here? (LWR 14)

16. Seattle Mariners (52-51) ~ Taijuan Walker is expected back from the disabled list which explains why the M’s traded away Wade Miley. That said, with Houston and Texas in front of them, it looks like another postseason-less year for Seattle. (LWR 15)

17. Colorado Rockies (52-53) ~ Colorado is 12-5 since the All-star break and didn’t go into sell mode which many fans probably thought was awaiting them. Jon Gray has looked good but the Rockies need one or two more reliable starters before we can begin to take them seriously. (LWR 19)

18. Chicago White Sox (51-54) ~ After Chris Sale cut up some jerseys there was a lot of chatter that could be the final straw in his career as a White Sox. The deadline has passed and Sale is still in Chicago. I didn’t think he was going anywhere. There was no talk about it before the jersey incident and he’s too good to move because of something so stupid. (LWR 20)

19. New York Yankees (52-52) ~ Tyler Clippard is coming back to the Bronx. The reliever started his career with the Yankees and now he’s back to fill one of the holes left by the trades of Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller. He will likely setup for presumptive closer Dellin Betances. (LWR 17)

20. Kansas City Royals (49-55) ~ Closer Wade Davis is back on the disabled list. Rumors were floating around that he was set to be traded but obviously the injury concerns will put the kibosh on that. While his strikeouts have been down (32 K’s in 33 1/3 innings) he has still been ultra-reliable with a 1.60 ERA and 1.10 WHIP while converting 21 of 23 save opportunities. (LWR 18)

21. Philadelphia Phillies (48-59) ~ The Phillies were thought to be sellers but they stood pat as the deadline passed. One of their biggest pieces, pitcher Jeremy Hellickson, remains with the team and is set to become a free agent at the end of the year. Maybe the Phillies view him as someone they’d like to keep long term because they certainly could have obtained a prospect or two in a deal. (LWR 23)

22. Oakland A’s (47-58) ~ In one of the more surprising non-moves Oakland held on to Danny Valencia. Maybe they want to play him regularly in the outfield now that Josh Reddick is in L.A.? Maybe they didn’t come across an offer they liked? Either way, for a team that always seems to be busy around this time of year, this non-move is the one that caught me most off-guard. (LWR 21)

23. Los Angeles Angels (47-58) ~ Hector Santiago was talked about as a pitcher who could be on the move to help a contender. Imagine his reaction when he found out he was in fact traded, but to the team with the American League’s worst record. Welcome to Minnesota Hector. In a separate move reliever Joe Smith went to the Cubs. Guess who feels better about their new club? (LWR 22)

24. Milwaukee Brewers (47-56) ~ Johnathan Lucroy was set to become a member of the Indians. Until he wasn’t. The All-star catcher had a limited trade clause in his contract which allowed him to block a trade to a few teams, Cleveland being one of them. Now he has been traded to the Rangers. They were not on his no-trade list so whether he is OK with that is not yet known. Anybody have Lucroy’s number? (LWR 24)

25. San Diego Padres (45-60) ~ It wasn’t long ago that the Padres brought in a bunch of big names to bolster the club. Now, they, along with others, are virtually all gone. Kemp, Cashner, Upton, Kimbrel and Pomeranz just to name a few are no longer in a Padre uniform. Time for the kids to get some playing time. (LWR 26)

26. Arizona Diamondbacks (43-62) ~ Jean Segura, Jake Lamb and Paul Goldschmidt are all putting up an O-WAR of around 3 which is nice, but they can’t do it alone. No regular on the team is posting at least a 1.0 aside from Chris Herrmann and Wellington Castillo who split catching duties. Oh, and the pitching is still a mess. (LWR 25)

27. Cincinnati Reds (42-62) ~ Homer Bailey is back after recovering from Tommy John surgery. The de facto ace of the Reds’ staff picked up the win over the weekend by allowing just two runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Padres. Lots of Padres mentions today…(LWR 29)

28. Tampa Bay Rays (42-61) ~ We all knew the Rays would part with a pitcher or two. We just didn’t know who it would be. Now we do. Matt Moore is on his way to San Francisco to join a rotation that could use some help and a team that has struggled since the All-star break. Tampa held on to Jake Odorizzi, Drew Smyly and Chris Archer all of whom were rumored to be available.(LWR 27)

29. Minnesota Twins (40-64) ~ The big win here is that they got out from under Ricky Nolasco's ugly contract. The big loss is that they had to give up Alex Meyer as well. So.....neutrality? (LWR 28)

30. Atlanta Braves (37-68) ~ A team everyone expected to sell off their remaining assets has actually added a piece. Atlanta shed themselves of Hector Olivera and added Matt Kemp in a trade with San Diego. As a Braves fan this makes me happy. While Kemp is not the MVP-calibur player he was a few years ago, he is still a solid offensive contributor. May have to get me a Kemp shirsey now. (LWR 30)

Questions? Comments? Feel free to leave feedback. I will try and respond as quickly as possible. Want to be like Jose Bautista and follow me on Twitter? @therichwhiteguy


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